State applies for postponement in Reitz case

The state has applied for a postponement in the crimen injuria case of the so-called Reitz Four in Bloemfontein on Monday.

State prosecutor Ben Mulutsi asked the Bloemfontein Regional Court to postpone the matter to consider representations made by the defence which was received on Wednesday October 1.

“I must admit the representations have put pressure on the prosecution,” he said.

Mulutsi said the state has no option but to consider the representations and needs more time.

The magistrate adjourned shortly to look in his diary to find a new court date.

RC Malherbe, Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe and Danie Grobler are accused of humiliating five black staff members at the University of the Free State (UFS) in an initiation-type ceremony which they filmed.

The four women cleaners and a man are seen on their hands and knees eating food which had apparently been urinated into by a white student. The students also express opposition to the university’s integration policy in the video.

Newly appointed UFS rector Jonathan Jansen caused a stir last week after announcing that the institution had pardoned the four students, and that they could finish their studies if they wished to do so.

Two of the students have already completed their studies, but two others are now planning to return to campus.

The move drew widespread criticism, causing Jansen to issue a statement on Sunday inviting “all stakeholders inside and outside the UFS ... to meet with the university management to table their concerns and to try to find consensus on a way forward”.—Sapa


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